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AVForums Multi Room discussion thread

Discussion in 'Streamers & Network Music Players' started by amcluesent, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. adamdavi3s

    adamdavi3s Member

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    Does anyone know of a media streamer that could replace the NAS ?

    I.e I could get the popcorn a-110 500gb if it would support the squeezebox server...

    (Everything is RAID'd on my computer so I could save the cost of a NAS)
  2. coolio107

    coolio107 Member

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    Umm. You are aware that RAID is not a backup, aren't you?
  3. adamdavi3s

    adamdavi3s Member

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    Sorry thank you for all the help so far!!

    I thought raid1 was a mirroring system, I did not set it up so I'm a bit clueless!

    Either way do any decent media streamers support the squeezebox server??
  4. coolio107

    coolio107 Member

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    Yes. It's a mirroring system, not a backup.
    A mirroring system helps if one of your disks dies.
    It does not help if you or somebody else purposely or accidentally deletes stuff, your OS decides to cause file system trouble, you overwrite some stuff or in a hundred other cases where the problem that makes you lose data is NOT the harddisk.
    RAID is fine for reliability and convenience but it does not replace a backup.
  5. dwelly

    dwelly Member

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    I've got the most ancient hi-fi system in the world (with speakers that are equally useless) and my wife's been nagging me to get something decent we can use all over the house.

    I'm trying my best to get up to speed but really don't know what I'd need for a wireless, multi-room system. Can anyone put me out of my misery?
  6. coolio107

    coolio107 Member

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    Read up on this forum on Sonos ans Squeezebox.
    These two are your possible choices if you want to get happy, forget about anything else.
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  7. dwelly

    dwelly Member

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    From these posts, Sonos sounds the more attractive option to me (albeit a bit pricey).

    What pieces of equipment would I need before purchasing? I have a Mac and wireless router. I'd like to dump the ancient stereo and speakers before I buy but I wondered if I needed to have a stereo or speakers (no matter how old), or a home theatre, before I can set up either the Sonos BU150 Two zone bundle (£500) or BU250 bundle (£785) or the S5? My Mac and wireless router are in a room upstairs, but I'd mainly want to listen to music in two rooms downstairs. How best to do that?
  8. neilball

    neilball Active Member

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    Assuming you have no ethernet cabling downstairs to link to your zone players then the first thing you will need is a BR100 Zone Bridge to connect to your router. If you buy the BU150 or BU250 then you will need a set pf speakers to connect to your ZP120 and an amplifier (stereo amp or AV amp will be fine) and speakers to connect to the ZP90. You will need to check and make sure that your wireless network is set to a separate channel to that which Sonos will use to avoid interference (use channel 1, 6 or 11) and if there are other wireless networks visible from your location try and keep Sonos of these channels too.

    If you go for S5 zone players then you will not need additional amps or speakers but this will cost £977 for 2 x S5s and a CR100/CR200.
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  9. dwelly

    dwelly Member

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    I listen to a lot of Spotify. is that available via Sonos or Squeezebox?
  10. coolio107

    coolio107 Member

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    AFAIK, no.
    There's some workaround for Spotify on Squeezebox but you'll need a PC for that and it has to be running.
    Search for "Spotify" on
    Squeezebox : Community : Forums
  11. Gordab

    Gordab Member

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    Just to mention, Napster is £10 a month, built in to Sonos and just as good as Spotify in my view.

    Overall, for what you want I would go for:

    - BR100 to connect to your Router

    - BU150 or BU250 - the only difference is the controller - the newer controller is much nicer if you can afford the increased bundle cost.

    - Connect the ZP120 to a decent set of speakers, job done for that zone.

    - Sell the ZP90 on these forums or on a well-known auction site and buy another ZP120 and speakers for your second zone also. This should still work out cheaper than buying all the items separately, especially if you still get the BU150 at £499 from Richer Sounds.
    Alternatively just buy another ZP120 and keep the ZP90 for when funds allow you to have a "proper" hi-fi in your main room
  12. dbaplaya

    dbaplaya Member

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    Moving into a new house soon and looking to install sound systems in a number of rooms. I went to look around a showhome today with the mrs to get some ideas etc. They had a system intergrated into the house called Opus. Speakers on the ceiling and a control panel on the wall by the light switch controlled everything from a central server. It was great but checking the prices off the web its very costly. Im looking to install something similar but on a smaller budget and wondered if i can do it. Im looking to have 3 or 4 rooms with their own amp & stereo speakers. Id like to have all the music stored centrally in the house - maybe on a 1TB external hard drive plugged into the back of my Linksys wrt610n wireless router. What i need to know is if there is a cheap device (i.e not Opus or Sonos) i can plug into each amp to access the NAS drive with all the music on there?

    what are the alternatives? could i buy 3 or 4 cheap netbooks and connect those up to the amps? i like the idea of browsing via itunes/windows etc.

    thanks
  13. GarryPearson

    GarryPearson Member

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    Hi, you dont mention an exact budget so bear with me and at least I can just clarify a few things about Sonos too that might help you. I know you say not Sonos or Opus but is an amp in each room not going to knock you back a fair amount (dependant on quality of amp), plus the speakers will cost you additionally (again cost dependant on quality). The Sonos S5 zoneplayer is amped & has 5 individually digital amp powered speakers built in so it sounds great.

    Images here - Sonos S5 Zoneplayer For Sonos Music System - Free Delivery

    As its portable you may even be able to get away with say 2 or 3 S5's and move them from room to room (Sonos zoneplayers work wirelessly or wired). Connect one S5 via ethernet cable to your router & the Sonos music system will pick up your iTunes, MP3's & any NAS or centrally stored music via the router no probs. Plus you get all of the internet online music services such as Napster, LastFM, Deezer etc...and the ability to play different songs in different rooms at the same time. Or link them and put them all into party mode playing the same thing in each room.

    S5 currently £349 inc VAT with free desktop controller software, or you can control via iPhone or Apple Touch with a free controller app download from the Apple Store. Saves you shelling out £279 inc VAT for the Sonos CR200 touchscreen controller.
  14. dbaplaya

    dbaplaya Member

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    Hi
    I already have 2 amps spare and I can get some speakers from Richer Sounds for around £150 that will do the job. I like th Opus as the speakers are in the ceiling but would the sound be any better than say a Pioneer amp and a pair of Mission speakers?
    Im trying to keep costs down, but i also want a good loud system.

    thanks for your reply
  15. blizeH

    blizeH Member

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    Hi guys,

    Bit of background: my uncle has a multi-room audio system whereby every room has two speakers and a panel (you can change the volume independently, plug in your iPod or whatever to each panel) which is super cool, but also requires so many cables he basically said it's not worth doing unless it's a new build house.

    So I was wondering; is there anyway at all I can do something similar, but without the mess? Maybe something that'd do everything wirelessly? Something that'd hopefully be able to play radio, podcasts and mp3s.

    I guess ideally I'd like something you can place in the wall and be fairly unobtrusive, as opposed to a bit clunky thing that'd need it's own unit to go on, also with a wireless remote? I have no idea how complicated and intricate these things are really, I guess I just figured it'd be easier to get power to a wireless speaker than having to re-wire the entire house you know?

    Not really sure what my budget is, maybe about £3k tops? Ideally I'd want it in 7 rooms, although if it isn't that expensive to do the entire house I'd go for that too! Not sure if I'm asking too much for that kind of money though.

    Thanks!
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
  16. quantumAV

    quantumAV Active Member Assured Advertiser

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    Have you looked at Squeezebox? A combination of Squeezebox and inroom audio system/powered speakers will do it.

    Alternatively there are systems out there with wireless wall pads now as well but you would still need to wire to the speakers.
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  17. PSM1

    PSM1 Well-Known Member

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    As above I would look at the Logitech Squeezebox range. I have the Boom as an alarm clock in my bedroom and it is a good standalone unit for streaming music etc. Logitech do a wide range of products with this area so can tailor it to what you need in each room.
    I would also look at the Sonos system as well as this too should well do what you need. It is also wireless too.
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  18. neilball

    neilball Active Member

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    If you don't want the hassle of wiring up to speakers in every room then take a look at the Sonos S5 - apart from mains power they can be operated wirelessly. You do also need to factor in controllers, you can use free software for your PC/laptop, a free app for the iPhone/iTouch (as long as you also have standard wifi through the house) or use the Sonos wireless controller which works over the propriety Sonos wireless network.

    £3k for 7 rooms is within budget provided you only want a couple of Sonos remotes and will use free software/apps in other areas. As the S5 is also portable then you may decide that you do not need quite so many if some rooms are only used occasionally as you can easily move them around to suit.

    You would be able to stream your own music library (from a PC or network hard disk connected to your network), internet radio, Napster (£5/month subscription), Last.FM & Deezer (both free but without individual track selection, more like auto-playlists that you can skip through).

    One of the major benefits of Sonos is that is very simple to set-up/deploy and there is top-notch support direct from Sonos as well.

    Logitech have similar devices and are cheaper although you have to factor in setting up/running their server software and keeping it all going (the server software is open-source and therefore community developed but you have to be prepared to put some time into it's deployment and maintenance).
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  19. blizeH

    blizeH Member

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    Thank you so much for the fantastic information guys, really appreciate it.

    The Logitech Squeezebox range looks great, and the pricing certainly all seems very reasonable, but I am leaning towards the Sonos S5 after viewing the demo, becuase the way it works with the software on your phone is simply fantastic.

    My main concern really is the size of all of the units - I love the fact they're wireless, but ideally I wanted something wall mounted (and a couple of waterproof ones!?) but I'm not even sure if that's possible? :(

    I guess I could buy a few S5s - one for the bedroom facing into the en-suite, one for the kitchen, and one for the hall way. Would come to around £1,000 then and wouldn't be a bad setup!

    Thanks again
  20. coolio107

    coolio107 Member

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    Well, if you plan to use an iPhone anyway to control them I think the difference between the Squeezebox and the Sonos is not as big as with the SB Controller!
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  21. blizeH

    blizeH Member

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    Fair enough, I was thinking that actually straight after I posted it, that I could get a dedicated controller and a Squeezebox setup for less than the Sonos setup would cost anyway!

    But I still really loved the interface on the Sonos iPhone software! /shallow

    I think the bathroom thing is going to be a real tricky one for me. Do any of these devices let you plug a regular speaker into them? So I could run a speaker into the cieling of both the en-suite and the bathroom, without the need for any actual electrical stuff to be in there?

    But I guess if I'm going to do that, do I really need a fancy wireless system? /watches demo again

    Yes, yes I do.
  22. coolio107

    coolio107 Member

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    Have you seen the Squeezebox iPhone Apps in comparison?
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  23. nacmacfeegle

    nacmacfeegle Active Member

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    Squeezebox can be controlled by Ipeng on the Iphone/Ipod and is excellent, and you get great support from Coolio ^ (the author) right here! Wife and 7 year old kid also approve of Ipeng.

    A couple of corrections in the above postings...
    The server software for Squeezebox is open source, but it is not community developed it is maintained by Logitech, most of the plugins are from the community though, and they really do enhance the experience. My SBs do more now than when I bought them a couple of years ago.

    You do not need a PC running to run Squeezeboxes as they are perfectly happy taking radio and services such as Napster/Deezer/LastFM straight off the internet, SBs can also run off a NAS, like Sonos.

    Set up of Squeezboxes is a bit fiddly the first time you do it, after the first one its a breeze. Basically if you can set up a wireless router, and a couple of PCs on a home network, you wil be okay with SB.

    Squeezebox make the Boom which is the equivalent to an S5, only exception is that it actually comes with a remote so you can use it out of the box, and not have to buy a remote (Sonos remote is lovely, but I can buy a decent amp for that price) and some means of connecting it to your network.

    I use SBs at home, but have played with Sonos at a mate's house, and both are equally usable and very good IMHO. I like both systems to use, but with the price difference I can buy more toys if I go for Squeezies. Sonos mesh network is very good, but its nothing that a couple of homeplugs (if your wifi is patchy as mine is) with SBs can't equal, and still have huge spare change.

    Both systems will change the way you listen to music, and I'm sure you will enjoy whichever system you opt for.
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  24. nacmacfeegle

    nacmacfeegle Active Member

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    Oh yeah,
    Bathroom, I'm looking into this at the moment and came across these...
    Keene Electronics

    Plug in a SB reciever (maybe even in an adjacent room), and a couple of bathroom speakers, and job done.

    The amp above might suit your 'spare rooms', also consider a T-amp (search E-bay and google) which are very good and also cost about 100 quid each.
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  25. neilball

    neilball Active Member

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    If your bathroom is upstairs and accessible from the loft then you could use an in-ceiling single-stereo speaker or a pair of standard in-ceiling speakers driven by a Sonos ZP120 (or SB equivalent with external amp) - the mains operated ZP/ZB & amplifier sits somewhere safe outside of the bathroom and you just run in the extra speaker cable and cut the speaker into the plasterboard.

    This is one of my favourite features of my Sonos system, lying in the bath or taking a shower listening to my music without interruption from the rest of the family :thumbsup:

    Then again the S5 plays loud without distortion so you could do it the old-fashioned way and just turn the volume up in the bathroom.

    On a different note, the older Sonos CR100 remote is water resistant (there are even vids on Youtube showing it working in a sink full of water!), far more likely to survive use in the bathroom where there is a risk of dropping it into the bath.

    Finally if you want a weather-proof, wireless battery powered external speaker that sounds fantastic then take a look at the Soundcast OutCast. Itis not cheap although also no more expensive than decent external speakers with a suitable amplifier. While I use it with Sonos it has a transmitter with stereo audio input and iPod dock so can be used with any system that can give an analogue stereo output. Sound quality is really good (the big Outcast has an 8" bass driver for tight, deep bass) and the battery runs for upto 8 hours even when driven hard. I use it constantly when the weather is good. It does look a bit like an ivory Dalek when it sits on the patio but I don't mind how it looks when it sounds so good :)
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  26. GarryPearson

    GarryPearson Member

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    In case this helps:
    2 x Sonos S5 Zoneplayer - £349 inc VAT each
    1 x Monitor Audio C165-T2 Splashproof In Ceiling Speaker (in the bathroom) - say £120 inc VAT

    OR

    Go with neilball's opinion of 3 x Sonos S5's at £349 inc VAT each and locate one in the bedroom but control it from the bathroom. The S5 will easily play loud enough to reach the en-suite

    OR

    2 x Sonos S5 at £349 each and 1 x Sonos ZP120 to drive 2 x Monitor Audio C180 In Ceiling Speakers located in the bedroom (little bit of hassle fitting them) - say £110 each inc VAT

    Dont forget with Sonos at least one zoneplayer needs to be plugged into your router/internet connection via ethernet cable. So if the router isnt in any of the rooms you have mentioned then you'd need a Sonos zonebridge BR100 at £79 inc VAT too. And also that if you are going to use your iPhone as the Sonos controller rather than the Sonos CR200 at £279 inc VAT then make sure you have a wireless signal in all of the rooms you mention as the iPhone controller works via your router to control the Sonos zoneplayers - the CR200 wirelessly connects directly to the zoneplayers using the built-in Sonosnet software
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  27. blizeH

    blizeH Member

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    Thank you so much once again guys, lots of awesome replies.

    The squeezebox is certainly very tempting and I won't rule it out, and the iPhone app does look fantastic, love the way it has coverart etc and so seamlessly lets you browse through and select what to play, but I have to admit I'm still leaning towards the Sonos, even though it's argueably not quite as versatile in some ways, and is quite a bit more expensive, there's something about it that I just find really appealing. I was pretty much sold by the demo on their site really.

    I'm thinking one S5 for the bedroom, one S5 for the kitchen, and then one S5 for the hallway where the router is, although it's nice they do an adapter for just £79 in case I decide not to go for an S5 there.

    With regards to the bathrooms, I'm still not sure - I guess you can't plug a speaker into the S5? Just find it a little dissapointing that the ZP120 actually costs more than the S5 and you need to allow for speakers and cable on top of that. If I could plug the en-suite speaker into the bedroom's S5 that'd be perfect, and then I could also get another S5 for the study which would then have a speaker to the main bathroom or something like that.

    I guess either way I'm looking at maybe £2k for the entire thing, which is pretty good considering what an awesome and easily customisable setup like the Sonos would offer.
  28. GarryPearson

    GarryPearson Member

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    Defeats the object really as the S5 has all-digital sound architecture & already includes 2 tweeters, 2 mid-range drivers and 1 subwoofer driver so its been designed that way to be an all-in-one zoneplayer with speakers built in.

    I hear what you are saying about the ZP120, the reasoning is that it gives people the flexibility to choose what quality of speakers they attach to its standard speaker connections on the rear. It could be 2 x in ceilings, it could be an expensive pair of floor standers...

    My advice would be stick with the S5 near to the en-suite/bathroom, its a quick and easy solution, no re-wiring needed, and its a great zoneplayer. The Sonosnet wireless also works really well.

    3 x Sonos S5's at £349 each - all in for £1047 inc VAT!. Plenty of change from your £2k.

    Ref the zonebridge at £79, we have also used homeplugs for some installs and they were work fine. Devolo, Netgear, Solwise, Dynamode have all worked well so far...
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  29. blizeH

    blizeH Member

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    Homeplug! Now that's a great idea too thank you - I already have a set that I use for my Xbox, I assume I could just grab one more and plug it in and it should work okay (fingers crossed) but I'll look into that at a later date.

    Good shout on the S5 in the bedroom by the way, I think I should at least try it like that before purchasing all additional stuff and wiring the speaker in, just to confirm though that the S5 will not let you plugin a speaker? And likewise the ZP120 wouldn't let me plug in two sets of speakers (one for the bedroom, and one for the bathroom)? Worst case scenario if I really want a speaker in there, I'll just get a ZP120 and send a speaker each into each bathroom.

    One thing that worries me with the Sonos, just wanting to confirm this - you cannot just plug a USB hard drive into it, you need an Apple TimeCapsule to kinda bridge the two, is that right?
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2010
  30. GarryPearson

    GarryPearson Member

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    Yep, in that case another homeplug should do the trick.

    S5 - no, the digital amps in the S5 supply the speakers in-built.

    ZP120 - you could run more than one set of speakers from it but running 4 speakers instead of 2 will affect the sound as the ZP120 has a 110W amp (55W per speaker). See some of the other forum threads about running multiple speakers from one amp source and speaker switches etc...

    No USB's on the Sonos but as one zoneplayer or zonebridge is ethernet cabled into the router (or into a homeplug indirectly into the router) your Sonos system is on the same network so can 'liberate' the music it finds on your home network (PC, iTunes, iPod, NAS drive, USB drive etc). The Sonosnet wireless is then connecting (meshing) one ZP to another (or you could ethernet cable one ZP to another as another option as there are two ethernet ports on each ZP).

    So no worries there and no extra kit needed like Apple TimeCapsule :clap:

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